Xcelerator Opening Day

Associated parks:
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Saturday, June 22, 2002 7:49 PM
It was a beautiful day today in SoCal, warm, sunny and not TOO hot. But there was something more beautiful than the weather happening today, Xcelerator's grand opening!

It has been WAY too long since that piece of real estate inside KBF has had an operating coaster standing on it. Knott's is small enough already without a SBNO coaster taking up space, but I'll tell you right now... it was worth the wait.

Since I am not in ACE, the press, or one of the winning bidders of the auction, I headed over to the ride entrance at a little after 2:00 where about 40 or so were already lined up, mostly enthusiasts. Before today, I had not even been to The Farm to see a test run, and at a little past 3:00, I saw it. It is truly an amazing sight. After that, the already growing line really started to grow, and streched past the exit of Perilous Plunge.

I couldn't really see the opening festivities from where we were. The station is nowhere near the entrance, but on one of the runs, about 3:30 or so, a big blast of confetti went off and the train was full of people. The first official "public" lap of Xcelerator had launched! All onlookers cheered and clapped, then clenched their teeth in anticipation, knowing that their ride would be coming soon. The queue opened at about 4:00 to more cheers and hollers.

The queue is nice, complete with 57 Chevy's and an old jalopy for comedy relief. There is a severe lack of shade, for now. Hopefully some tarps or trees will be put up to shade the queue.

OK enough of that crap, here is the ride review. There is assigned seating, for now, as well as a one train operation. Ride ops assured us that once the crew was more accostumed to operating the ride, the second train would be used. Also added at the last minute was a drag race style countdown light. You know, the kind that gives a red, 3 yellows and a green. When the green hits, BAM!!! That train ROCKETS out of the station like a bat out of Hell on crack laced sterroids.

I was assigned to the back car, which was the seat I wanted anyhow. Here is the bad news, they staple you and staple you HARD! These are the exact same restraints that The Plunge has originally, so the crew was taking no chances. There is a test seat at the entrance, so if you have any doubt, test yourself.

When the ops ler her go, there is a slight roll back, maybe about a foot or so. Anyone know why this happens? After that the countdown begins, when the green hits, the pedal is put to the metal harder than anything I have ever felt. AWESOME launch. Blows away Premier launched rides. The best is yet to come, the reverse top hat gives INCREDIBLE feeling of air. Or should I say feeling of ejection. Combine that with the twisting into and out of that hill, and you get quite possibly the best element yet created.

After that the 2 overbanked turns are taken fast and smooth. The little S curve in between the turns is neat. The brakes are the smoothest brakes I have ever felt. It has become my new #1 launched ride. Sure it's short, but the sheer strength of the launch and the top hat makes this a 10 out of 10.

Knott's has a real winner on their hands, and I cannot wait for another Intamin launched ride using this mechanism to be put somewhere. Get you butt to Knott's Berry Farm and ride Xcelerator!

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

*** This post was edited by Soggy on 6/22/2002. ***

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Saturday, June 22, 2002 7:58 PM
Kool, I will in July!! I want to ask one question though, to you or anyone who has ridden it....how does it compare to hypersonic at pkd? cause i rode hypersonic and loved it, how do you think these two beasts compare??
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Saturday, June 22, 2002 8:42 PM
i wonder how many years it will be till an intamin coaster comes to new zealand, they can afford a giant drop why not this baby!!!!!

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#1 coaster company - Intamin AG
#2 coaster company - B&M engineering
#3 coaster company - Vekoma international
#4 coaster company - Arrow Dynamics

If you EVER ride Flashback at night, DONT GO TOWARDS THE BRIGHT LIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

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Saturday, June 22, 2002 9:07 PM
Thanks for the report, Soggy!

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- Peabody

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Saturday, June 22, 2002 9:09 PM
How long was the line when it stretched past Perilous Plunges Entrance. I wouldn't imagine it to be too bad, because during Haunt, Supreme Scream's line goes very far, to about the entrance of Perilous plunge. So about 4 hours, huh. How fast did the Crew scramble. How many seconds to let people off and check restraints and launch (how many seconds is the train in the station). How long was ghostrider's queue later that day. and, is it a top 15 ride?
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Saturday, June 22, 2002 9:30 PM
going sundaycant wait !
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Saturday, June 22, 2002 10:19 PM

Sounds impressive. I hope it runs flawless so Cedar Fair may get the idea of building one of these at Dorney or the Point.

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Knoebels visits in 2002. 4

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 6:21 AM
It is very WELL worth the wait. I went to CoasterCon and we were suppossed to get ERT on this, but for some reason Knott's changed their plans and only let the employees ride Friday night. Knott's gave any ACER that wanted to come back a free pass.
At the airport Saturday my flight wasn't suppossed to leave until late Saturday night, and since I would do anything other than hang around LAX all day I said the heck with it and rented a car for a few hours and drove back up to Knott's. I got there about 2:00 and there was already a very good line, but it was very well worth the wait, and I am glad I drove back!!!!
It just might be my favorite coaster!!! I am a HUGE fan of launchers and was very well pleased.
X was SFMM wasn't running so it was a relief to ride at least one Xcelerator!!!
I rode it and then went back to the airport, and luckily I ended up getting an earlier flight back to WV.
AWESOME week!!!!! I will return when X is operating smoothly....if ever.
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Sunday, June 23, 2002 7:04 AM
Coastingohio, I havn't been on H:XLC, so I cannot comparee the two.

The queue was completely filled and almost overflowing when I got off. I have no idea how long that may have taken to get through. Comparing Halloween Haunt lines to any other time is a bit unfair. At Haunt the park is always filled to the legal maximum number of people allowed in the park, so... They had LOTS of ride ops stapling, er... checking restraints, and the train is rather small, so restraint checking went quickly. Dispatches were a little slow, but not horrible. Maybe some other Buzzers went back for another ride and would be able to give you a better idea of what the capacity is like.

Ghostrider's queue was the entire upstairs and downstairs queue, and a little outside that. I would guess about 60-90 minute wait for that.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:09 AM

Soggy said:
"When the ops ler her go, there is a slight roll back, maybe about a foot or so. Anyone know why this happens?"

Probably this is the train engaging the launch wagon. Hypersonic does a similar thing of backing up about a half a foot.

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"To get into this head of mine, would take a monkey-wrench, and a lot of wine" Res How I Do

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 8:32 AM
Did you take any pictures?
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Sunday, June 23, 2002 9:11 AM
Superman:The Escape also rolls back just a bit before the launch...

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 9:24 AM

Go to www.themeparkreview.com

Actually i pasted the site with the Xcelerator video but you can still access the pictures from there. They have 2 pages of Xcelerator opening day pictures and a video which has off ride and on ride shots (while they play the song "I can't drive 55" in the backround, lol) There ya go CoasterKingdom.

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 9:25 AM
Nevermind that whole thing i pasted the right site.

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Top 5:
5) S:ros Sfdl 4) Raptor 3) Apollos Chariot 2) Magnum 1) Millennium Force

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Sunday, June 23, 2002 10:59 AM
Soggy, you'll really have to try Superman at Six Flags Over Georgia sometimes since I thought it had the best element ever created for a coaster with the Pretzel Loop. The reverse top hat seemed to go kind of slow to produce ejector airtime from the videos I saw, but I'll take your word on it. I'll try out Xcelorator as well soon, so I can see if it can take out SUF for the best single element which I hope it does.
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Sunday, June 23, 2002 11:16 AM
Looks can be deceiving, Koaster King. Hypersonic looked like it crawls over the top without air, but it sure doesn't! I'm glad to hear that the Xcellerator top hat is as fun as it looks!

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- Peabody

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Monday, June 24, 2002 5:48 AM
Yes, like Peabody mentions, looks can be deceiving. The top of the hill makes that 180° change of direction in such a small radius. That's what gives it the air, not the speed. I'm sure the front of the train also feels quite abit different from where I was sitting.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Monday, June 24, 2002 12:49 PM

To answer some of the questions about Xcelerator's queue during the rest of the day on Saturday, the wait in the evening was about an hour and 15 minutes. unless you wanted to sit in the front car, which made it two hours plus. They closed the queue between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

I was one of the lucky charity auction winners and was on the first public train when all the confetti and streamers were released.

What an awesome ride!! For my first ride, I rode last car, front row left. The feeling as you're twisting 90 degrees to the left going up into the reverse top hat is amazing. You feel like you're going to be ejected from your seat. At the top, you quickly go from positive to negative g's and remain that way until about halfway down the other side. You're really pressing up against the lap bar -- my butt was off the seat that whole time. For my second and third rides, I was lucky enough to sit in the front row, first on the left side then on the right. Coming over the reverse top hat was even better because when the track twists to the right, you feel like the train isn't going to make that turn. The ejector air was even more noticeable.

After the VIP dinner/get together, we went over to GR and waited about 90 minutes for a back car ride. The queue was in the downstairs portion, about half full. When we got off the ride, the downstairs had filled up and the line was outside; at least a two hour wait at that point. Then, it was back to Xcelerator for a moonlight ride finale to our day. The line at that time filled up about a third of the switchback queue, and not counting the 20 minute delay, our wait was only 75 minutes.

*** This post was edited by MMCoasterBear on 6/24/2002. ***

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Monday, June 24, 2002 5:25 PM
Wow, the back car must have added a lot of time becuase usually a full station building means a 50-60 minute wait.
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Monday, June 24, 2002 5:47 PM

Part of the wait was because they were loading the back car just about every other run with people who had "Special Assistance" passes. Gee, that's funny, but not even one of them looked like they needed any help - I sure would have liked to staple them into their seats!! Where was Heather when you really needed her?

*** This post was edited by MMCoasterBear on 6/24/2002. ***

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